Friday, December 08, 2006, Zeeqaad 16, 1427 A.H. Editor-in-Chief: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman 
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 273 graduates awarded degrees at AKU convocation
Soomro praises the university for its contribution to health, education

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Senate Chairman Mohammedmian Soomro, while appreciating the qualitative medical teaching and healthcare facility provided by the Aga Khan University, said that this familiar landmark had come a long way since its establishment.

He was addressing at the 19th Aga Khan University Convocation on Saturday during which 273 graduates were awarded degrees. Among the 273 graduates, who successfully completed their academic programme, 75 received nursing diplomas, 63 graduates of the School of Nursing were awarded Bachelor of Science, 6 of them were awarded Masters of Science in Nursing.

Eighty-one graduates received Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the Medical College, seven were awarded Masters degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and eight were awarded Master’s in Health Policy and Management. At the Institute for Educational Development 33 Masters were awarded degree.

The AKU’s coveted gold medal which has been awarded only six times in the previous year convocation and the 7th gold medallists Award of Excellence in Education went to Dr Mohammed Pervez. Award of Excellence in Research went to Dr Rabia Hussain, who was also conferred Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2005 by the President of Pakistan and the third best performance award Professor Emeritus Dr Baulimblad, this award goes to the retired member faculty of the university, Baulimblad a visiting doctor from New York served at AKU from 1994-98. This medal recognises an outstanding medical graduate who tops three of the four certifying examinations.

Of the 273 graduates, six were from Afghanistan, two from Kenya, four from Tajikistan, two from Syria, one from Bangladesh, and one from the USA. Congratulating the graduates, the Senate chairman said that they rightly deserved felicitation from us for successfully completing the rigorous curriculum of the AKU and for pushing themselves to the limit and stepping into the world today eager to use their training, talent, and education.

He said the AKU Karachi strives for excellence in all its endeavours and noted its teaching hospital was awarded Joint Commission International Accreditation in early 2006, which is the world’s leading certification for performance of hospitals. He said we need to create qualified human resources for our country and the region and lauded the efforts of the AKU to improve healthcare and medical education in Pakistan.

He told graduating students they are fortunate to have spent learning years at AKU to serve with high ethical values. The future of Pakistan needs people like you, “ I invite you to remain in Pakistan, and if you choose to go abroad, to return home sooner rather than later to serve your nation”.

The people of Pakistan, and beyond all walks of life awaits you, because you bring not only knowledge and skills, but also leadership and excellent ethics. The seeds you plant, as role model nurses, doctors and educationists, will bear many, many fruits. If as individuals, you inspire just one of our people to strive for excellence in the way you have, he believed and added that, “ and you will have fulfilled this University’s great principle of having an impact on our communities.

The convocation ceremony 2006, was unique, as in the last year’s convocation the Chancellor of the University, Aga Khan, announced the appointment from May 1, 2006 Firoz Rasul as the new President of the University to succeed Shams Lakha, the first President of the University.

Rasul was formally installed as the second President of the University through an investiture ceremony during which he was presented with a replica of the University Seal cast in Silver, the replica was in a form of Medallion which was presented to him as a symbol of presidential authority and trust.

On this occasion, the Chancellor, AKU, said that the university as strengthening its research activities, besides planning a new curricula in the liberal arts - expanding role as a comprehensive learning institutions and also developing new programmes in fields such as architecture and human settlement, law, management of for-profit and not-for-profit institutions, government, civil society and public policy, leisure and tourism, media and communications, science and technology and human development.

He also said that AKU was building alliances with other Universities around the world -opening study and research opportunities for students and faculties alike which would result in the development of truly global citizens, graduates who have studies in a variety of places among people from a variety of backgrounds, fostering a better understanding of a diverse and complex world. In an era of breath-taking change and bewildering complexity, we choose not to pull down or to settle down, but instead to reach out to push forward. The path we have chosen is not easy to chart and it certainly not free of risk, but is both a necessary and an exciting road - filled with the promise of high adventure, he said.

The newly-installed President, AKU, Firoz Rasul, also spoke on the occasion.

 
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